GRRP sues GovGuam for $20M - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

GRRP sues GovGuam for $20M

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by Mindy Aguon

Guam - The Guam Environmental Protection Agency continues to review the public's comments on Guam Resource Recovery Partner's application for a landfill permit. While the company waits to hear whether it can build a landfill at Atantano, GRRP is suing the government for millions of dollars.

$20,000,000 is how much Guam Resource Recovery Partners is seeking from the Government of Guam as they contend they've lost out on millions because the government has breached its contract to enter into a new waste-to-energy contract. GRRP's efforts to build such a facility go back to 1982, when the company's predecessor, International Energy Enterprises, Inc., entered into a license with the Guam Economic Development Authority and the government. 

That agreement covered the financing, construction and operation of a waste-to-energy facility. In 1996, the parties executed the solid waste construction and services agreement. The deal spelled out that the privately financed, constructed and operation facility would generate electricity from waste.

Four years later would mark the start of a decade of litigation as Senator Ben Pangelinan and then-mayor of Santa Rita Joseph Wesley filed a lawsuit to have the agreement deemed invalid. The case went back and forth from the Superior and Supreme Courts, with the latter finally declaring the 1996 contract invalid.

In November 2009 GRRP filed a government claim as it sought to enforce its rights under the original 1982 license and the 1991 amendment by seeking to enter into a new contract with GovGuam and the Guam Economic Development Authority.  The claim was denied in April of last year. According to the complaint that was filed in the Superior Court, GRRP contends that the government wasn't in breach of the contract until two years ago.  While the contract may have been deemed invalid, the company contends its licenses remain valid and that they clearly require the government to enter into a new waste to energy contract. 

GRRP attorney Bill Mann stated that the government cannot avoid their contractual obligations in the license and amended license. Additionally the company is seeking a trial and damages that they estimate are at least $20,000,000.  The government has yet to respond to the lawsuit.

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